Biker died in head-on crash

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A MOTORCYCLIST died after his bike hit an oncoming car on Alnwick Moor, an inquest heard.

At the Berwick Magistrates Court hearing on Friday, north Northumberland coroner Tony Brown recorded that Daniel Tanner, 25, of Blaydon, died as a result of an accident.

The inquest was told that Mr Tanner was on his Honda motorbike travelling in the westbound lane of the B6341, from Alnwick to Rothbury, with a group of friends when, for unexplained reasons, his bike crossed into the eastbound lane and hit a Citroen Saxo head-on.

Giving evidence, PC Michael Lowry, from Northumbria Police’s collision investigation unit, said: “In my opinion, some form of rider error must be viewed as the primary cause of the collision.”

Mr Tanner died almost instantly in the accident on May 23 last year, while Stephen Hepple, the driver of the Citroen, suffered severe injuries, including two broken leg, and is still recovering.

The inquest heard that the accident happened on a section of the road which bends sharply to the right before a hidden dip.

Mr Tanner was the third of seven riders out together when his bike crossed lanes going round the bend, hitting Mr Hepple’s car.

Mr Brown asked if there was sufficient signage on the road to warn drivers of the dip.

PC Lowry said that it could be highlighted better on the west lane but the council has taken steps to rectify that.

He added: “In the circumstances of this accident, no amount of warning signs would have made a difference in my opinion.

“It would be unfair to speculate as there are a number of reasons which can cause motorcyclists to crash. Perhaps an insect got into his crash helmet or an animal ran on from the side of the road. There could be any reason but there is no evidence to explain it.”

Mr Brown said: “Daniel Tanner was on the wrong side of the road and for an unexplained reason his motorcycle has gone on to the other side of the road while at the same time a Citroen Saxo was travelling on the correct side.

“The tragic outcome of this was that Daniel Tanner sustained appalling injuries and would have lost consciousness immediately.”